Bold plans for Royal Windsor

  • The organisers of the Royal Windsor Horse Show have unveiled grand plans for 2005, when the show will leave its historic grounds in Windsor’s Home Park Public after 62 years.

    Royal Windsor will now take place in the private gardens and parkland of Windsor Castle, which played host to the carriage driving and dressage competitions in the past. The move means that the show will have a home of its own after sharing its grounds with the Windsor Rugby Club and Windsor Cricket Club.

    “This move is vital to secure the long-term future of the show and will make it the most prestigious show, on the most prestigious showground, in the world,” says Royal Windsor’s show director, Simon Brooks-Ward. “This level of prestige will be matched by the sporting, public and corporate facilities that we will be providing, mixed with the theatre, drama and excitement of our arena entertainment. We will lead the way in 21st century outdoor equestrian events.”

    The new site in Home Park Private, which was recommended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, will have three arenas — Frogmore, Copper Horse and Castle — and 180 shopping outlets. Castle, which is the main arena, will have seating for 3,000 people.

    More than 1.2 miles of pedestrian and vehicle tracks will be laid throughout the venue and pedestrian bridges — one of which takes up to 5,000 people per hour — will lead visitors from the car park in Home Park Public over the Windsor to Datchet road and into the castle’s private grounds.

    Organisers have applied for a £300,000 all-weather surface to be installed in the 120m x 60m main arena. If planning consent is granted, Royal Windsor will reintroduce dressage and widen the range of disciplines it covers.

    “We now have a dedicated site we can call home and I would hope that in time we, too, could even think about hosting about hosting the World [Equestrian] Games,” says Brook-Ward, who compared the new Windsor showground to Aachen, the WEG 2006 venue in Germany.

    Royal Windsor 2005 has also secured a raft of high-profile sponsors, such as Land Rover, Daks, Laurent Perrier, Country Life and Jaeger le Coultre. The show will take place from 12 to 15 May 2005 and tickets will be available for sale from early December. For more details or to book a ticket, visit www.rwhs.co.uk

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